The ramblings of mgdavis

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Tue May 13, 2008 10:11 am

I checked my odometer yesterday, and realized that I need to put 1200 miles on the Strom this month, so I can get the 7500mi service done before the warranty expires. I'd like it done while the bike is still warrantied just in case there is something wrong that I haven't noticed, and I might as well try to get some use out of the warranty.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:38 pm

I almost became statistic on the way to work this morning.

I was headed through town, moderate traffic moving about 30 mph. The road is five lanes at that point, two in each direction plus a suicide lane. I was in the south-bound slow lane, with two cars abreast of each other about 20 yards ahead of me. There was a car in the suicide lane, pointed north, waiting to turn into a gas station. He waited for the cars in front of me to pass, and then started to pull across, apparently not noticing me.

I didn't have a chance to do much but swear and roll on the throttle. I was unfortunately not in my powerband, so not much was accomplished. (I'm staying in 3rd gear through town from now on.)

The guy noticed me about 5 feet before he plowed through me, and slowed enough to go behind me, rather than over me.

It was certainly eye opening for me, and a reminder that they really don't see you.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:33 pm

Image

Image
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:31 pm

Wow, it has been a little while since I paid any attention to this thing. My "real" blog fizzled some time ago, so I think I'll start posting here again on occasion.

Things that have happened in the last year or so:

Still running the Strom, now have a bit over 16,000 miles on the odometer.
My luggage has gone through a couple generations of change, now I have very nice Caribou boxes on the sides, mounted just last week.
My gear has also evolved some, now I have an Arai Profile lid and Aerostich Combat Touring Boots in addition to the Kili jacket and Cortech pants.
No longer living with my folks, and now I live a good 15-20 minute ride from work.
Tires on the Strom are now a matched set of Battlewings.

I'll make an effort (for awhile, at least) to check back with updates for this thread on a semi-regular basis.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:34 pm

Holy chit it's warm today! I just got back from tooling around for a couple or three hours and I am roasting. It was about 70*F when I left the house, now it's 84*. I also managed to forget about the rush hour bottleneck that I wound up right in the middle of. One of these days I'm going to have to pick up some mesh gear so that I don't end every ride soaked in sweat during those two months of hot weather that we get every year.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:28 pm

I cleaned my chain today (exciting, I know). It is significant to me, I'm pretty lackadaisical about chain maintenance - I might clean and tighten it every five thousand miles or so. I tend to squirt lube on the exposed section of chain two or three times a week, but I don't generally give it more thought than that.

In the past I have used a Grunge Brush and kerosene to really scrub the chain clean, but that always turned into a messy and time consuming process. Today I decided to halfass it by using just a kerosene soaked rag. I'll be damned if that rag didn't get the chain almost as clean, and in way less time than the brush. I suppose that it just goes to show that the simplest and lowest-tech method of doing things is often easier and just as effective.

As a side note, I have discovered a way to make using a rear "track" stand less hairy. Normally it seems like the bike wants to flop to one side or the other, right when you just barely have it balanced, on the way up and down. I take two tie-downs and run one from each grip back to a point on the frame, and lock them down so that the bars can't swivel at all. Hey Presto, the bike doesn't want to flop over when you're putting it on or off the stand. I'm sure that I'm not the only one doing it this way, but I almost dropped the bike a couple times before that particular light bulb went off.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:28 pm

The new 2009 BMW K1300GT = AWESOME.

160hp, 100+ ft-lbs. The spec sheet says it will do 124mph "plus". :twisted:

This bike will haunt my dreams. If only I had $28,000 that I wasn't using...
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:24 am

Awesome motorcycle under me
Wonderful day unfolding around me
My commute would be so much better
If it didn't end at work.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:29 am

Touched down a peg yesterday.:mrgreen:

I was riding with a pillion, and neglected to bump up the preload on the rear suspension. I had been riding at a pretty mild pace, and I wasn't getting myself leaned into corners like I usually do. I came up on a familiar right-hand corner that is posted at 10mph and entered at 15mph or so. Right in the middle of the corner I'll be damned if the pavement didn't reach up and smack that right peg. I knew what it was, so I didn't jerk the bike up or anything, just continued on. I did stop down the way a bit to crank up the rear before entering the next bit of twisties.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:13 pm

The new girlfriend (the pillion in my last post) is working out so well that I just ordered her some gear! I found a sweet closeout on Honda logo touring gear, so I snagged a 3/4 length jacket and matching pants for $99/ea, which is a cumulative $350 below msrp.

I'm really looking forward to having her in full gear, to this point she has been wearing a borrowed Technic mesh jacket and jeans. I've been apprehensive about having her on the bike without riding pants, I'd hate to go down and have her end up covered in road rash.

Once I make sure I got the right size and color, I'll even post up where I found the gear for anyone who might be interested. I'd do it now, but I don't want a run on my stash before I'm sure I've got her all set up. :lol:

Next, I'll be looking for gloves, boots, and a lid. Right now she has gloves and a nice Shoei helmet borrowed from a very gracious friend, and has been wearing Converse sneakers, which aren't going to be ideal in a crash (or the rain, for that matter). I wish I could get everything at once, but my paycheck can only stretch so far...
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:44 pm

This morning I realized that there are not nearly as many two wheel commuters at my work this year as there were last. Fuel prices are running significantly lower this year, so I guess everybody lost the motivation to ride. Lately it has been myself, a Pacific Coast, a 250 cruiser, and a few scooters. This time last year, I could barely find room for my bike in the MC parking area, now it's usually me and one or two other bikes.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:24 am

I got the gf out for a nice ride on the Strom yesterday. We went around the Hood Canal, it was about 130 miles for the trip. I picked up a pair of the JVC marshmallow headphones for her, so she just spent the whole trip listening to tunes and watching the scenery go by. I didn't get any complaints, except that she was kind of saddlesore by the end of the day.

The gear that I picked up for her is working out pretty well. It is the Nirvana Touring jacket and pants from Motorcycle Superstore. The quality is a notch or two below my Kili and Cortech, but it's decent for a fair-weather pillion. My only real gripe is that the pants have a 33" inseam in every size, which is a little long for my 5'3" gf.

Image
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:13 pm

Once again I've made a liar of myself, saying that I'm going to make an effort to keep this updated regularly.

My pillion decided we weren't working out, so she split. Now I'm kicking myself for dropping so much cash on riding gear for her. I had picked up a helmet, gloves, and boots in addition to the suit. Live and learn, I guess. In the future I'll stay a solo rider unless the next ex-gf buys her own damn gear.

I haven't hardly been out on the bike in a month, which sucks. I've been having trouble getting motivated to ride.

I have a corrected speedometer face on the way from raceratb. It sounds like he only has a couple more left, and doesn't really have plans for another production run, so get one now if you want one. I'm really looking forward to having an accurate speedo, I'll run it against the gps and post up results after I install it.

That's all for now, folks...
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:26 am

My speedometer face showed up in the mail yesterday. On brief inspection, it looks pretty good. I might install it Monday, or later during the week if I don't get around to it then. I'm really looking forward to not having to guess at what my real speed is.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:59 pm

I got my new speedometer face installed this morning. I'm happy to report that it went pretty smoothly. There was one heart stopping moment when I thought I'd broken the speedometer needle as I was prying it off, but it turns out that I'd just popped off a cosmetic cover that snapped back in place. The hardest part was prying that needle off, hoping the whole time that I wouldn't break any off the small plastic parts it was attached to. Reinstalling the needle in the proper alignment was also somewhat of a PITA, but I got it pretty well where it needed to go on the fourth or fifth try.

Cosmetically, the gauge looks pretty much factory - better than factory in my case, as my original gauge face had started to bubble somewhat. It's raining hard enough that I haven't been out to check the accuracy of the new piece yet, but all reports say that I should not be disappointed. This is probably the best $45 I have spent on my bike, and I find myself wishing that I hadn't waited two years to follow through on the purchase and installation.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:25 pm

I caught a break in the rain, so I went out for a quick run against the GPS. It seems like the new face reads 1 mph low around town, although it was hard to keep my speed steady enough for the GPS to settle on a number. On the highway at 60 mph I'm now dead on, which is much nicer than having to guesstimate. I'm a happy customer, and I'd encourage all Strom riders to contact raceratb about his product.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

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Unread post by blues2cruise » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:12 am

We relish those "breaks" in the rain on the west coast, don't we?
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mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:38 am

Yeah, I'm not scared of melting, but I just don't have as much fun when I'm dealing with the weather.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:36 pm

I went out for a ride today, nothing special just cruising down the highway. The weather here right now is 36*F and overcast, so I was having to do the zen breathing to keep my face shield more-or-less clear of fog.

On the way home I stopped at the local dealer and bought a pin-lock shield, pretty much as a spur of the moment thing.

Wow! I am blown away by how big a difference it makes. I've tried various anti-fog stuff in the past, but nothing can touch this pin-lock setup. I literally tried and failed to make it mist over while sitting at a light. It was a little pricey at $90, but it's definitely going to be well worth it to me.
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

mgdavis
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Unread post by mgdavis » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:44 am

I might get myself a x-mas present this year. I've been looking around for inexpensive dual sports that are more dirt oriented than the Strom for awhile, now I have a pretty good idea of what I want. I have a line now on an old DR350 that I might pick up for cheap. Stay tuned...
'07 Suzuki V-Strom DL650
An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.
Molon Labe!!!

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